ABN AMRO Chairman of the Board Gerrit Zalm is co-signing the Dutch banks Climate Statement. The statement consists of ten action points CEOs of participating Dutch banks pledge to apply to increase the sustainability of the sector and society.
Making internal operations more sustainable, helping companies scale back on CO2 emissions, and speeding up the process where Dutch houses and offices are made more energy efficient. These are three of the ten measures that Dutch banks – in the run-up to the Climate Summit in Paris - are pledging to apply to support the climate objectives. Today, the Dutch Banking Association is revealing the plans to the public.
Sustainability is part of ABN AMRO's long-term strategy. The bank has been applying an array of measures to limit its own and its customers' CO2 emissions for quite some time now. For example, the ABN AMRO head office at Gustav Mahlerlaan in Amsterdam was the very first Dutch office building to receive the BREEAM-excellent certificate. The specifics include 100 percent biogas purchasing, 100 percent wind power use, reductions in energy consumption and waste creation, and a cooling system that utilises a pump in nearby lake De Nieuwe Meer.
30% ‘A’ labels
ABN AMRO has been working hard to make its offices more sustainable. Eighteen locations, with a total floor area of over 310,000 square metres, have received the BREEAM-Very Good certificate. The new Alkmaar location, which is opening its doors next week, is energy neutral.
As an additional objective of improving the structural sustainability of its own office network, ABN AMRO wishes to share the knowledge gained with its clients. ABN AMRO Director Sustainable Development Richard Koloos explains: 'We are gaining a wealth of knowledge by making our own buildings more sustainable. With that knowledge, we actively aspire to propel the entire property sector forward – and, by doing so, to contribute to a prospering Dutch economy. After all, in addition to the obvious environmental advantages, making offices more sustainable also makes economic sense. Our headquarters offer some very tangible evidence that a sustainable office is entirely viable.'
ABN AMRO is helping customers make their homes and offices more sustainable, and aims for 30% ‘A‘ energy labels in 2017's commercial real estate portfolio. By 2017, moreover, the bank wants to have over 300,000 square metres of transformed portfolio property, and aims by then to have financed 30 Green Landmarks.
Since last summer, ABN AMRO offers institutional investors the opportunity to invest in solar panel loans and mortgages for very energy-efficient houses and industrial properties. Totalling €900 million, this green bond – the first based on residential property of a Dutch bank – was nearly twice oversubscribed. In the future, ABN AMRO intends to bring a steady flow of new green bonds into the market.
ABN AMRO's private banking clients made sustainable investments totalling €5.4 billion last year. That amounts to a 20 percent increase in one year's time. A large percentage of this sum was invested in sustainable investment mandates. For other clients, ABN AMRO uses its sustainability indicator to assess listed companies' sustainability policies, so they can better calculate these policies into their investment considerations.